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Back to VISTA Library Far Right Radio Review
Ripe for Recruitment

by Brad Heavner, July 1996

In April, 1983, a pornography shop in Spokane, Washington, was robbed. The thieves ran off easily. In their pockets was a total of only $369, but in their heads was the inspiration to steal large sums of money for their revolutionary movement.

They were the Order, a small group of white supremacists inspired by the Aryan Nations to scramble society and create a white homeland in the Pacific Northwest. They went on to hold up banks and armored cars throughout the following twenty months, netting millions of dollars. Their biggest take was $3.6 million from a Brinks car in Ukiah, California. They murdered Alan Berg, a Denver radio host who had challenged them on the air, as well as a Missouri state trooper.

It is thought that much of the money they stole, in addition to profits from a counterfeiting operation, was donated to the Aryan Nations and other white supremacist organizations. Listed among these is William Pierce's openly neo-Nazi group, the National Alliance, now the producer of a weekly radio program heard on shortwave.

The Order was broken up by the killing of its leader in a shootout with the FBI and the conviction of twenty-four of its members. Other followers, whose identities may have been unknown to federal officials, disappeared from public view.

Seven years later, Richard Guthrie was arrested in West Virginia for allegedly running a scam to defraud K-Mart out of $250,000. After admitting that he sent most of that money to the Aryan Nations, he skipped bail and went into hiding.

Then a string of bank robberies began in the U.S. Midwest. Since December, 1994, robberies at eighteen banks in seven states have yielded over $200,000 for a group calling itself the Mid-Western Bank Bandits. Richard Guthrie was arrested in connection with this gang in January, along with Peter Langan, whose apartment contained stacks of white supremacist and neo-Nazi literature. From analyzing this material, it appears that the Bandits also went by another name, the Aryan Republican Army. In a video found at Langan's home, it is explained that the group's goals are to "Eliminate the government, from the federal government to the county seats; exterminate Hymie; repatriate all nonwhites to their homes."

The 'Patriot' movement which has exploded in the United States in recent years goes to great lengths to tell us that they are not racist. They are law-abiding citizens concerned about God, family, and country. Certainly there is a large amount of truth to this. Many of those becoming 'common-law citizens,' attending Constitution study sessions, and even training with the militias do not want to split the country along racial lines. They are concerned enough to become active in changing America for what they think will be the better.

But they often don't realize what they're getting involved in, and have misjudged the consequences of their actions.

The members and supporters of the Order who did not land in jail certainly did not all decide to abruptly change their beliefs. Or their tactics. And the bank jobs in the Midwest may not have ended with the arrest of two of those involved.

All people involved in the movement may not be racist, but the movement is. That's where its roots are, and it's foolish to believe that new leadership can sever those roots at will. Openness and a celebration of diversity are precisely not what these false patriots are all about. As long as one fights against tolerance, one is leading people toward bigotry.

If the leaders of this movement are so concerned about abusive state power, why do we hear nothing about Leonard Peltier, who has been sitting in a U.S. prison for the past twenty years for a crime which he did not commit? (See VISTA, Apr. 96) They jump to the defense of white supremacist Randy Weaver and renegade cult leader David Koresh, both of whom were victims of murderous aggression by the state, but are unable to see any wrongdoing when it comes to crimes against a Native American.

If the leaders of this movement are so concerned about oppression and about the ill-effects of NAFTA, why do we hear nothing about Chiapas? When confronted about this, Mark Koernke could give no tangible explanation for his failure to build solidarity with the Zapatistas. He is clearly only interested in promoting his own narrow-minded, xenophobic organization.

People are looking for solutions, for some place they can run to. They turn on their radios, and this is what they're finding.

The dangerous rhetoric of these spokespeople is becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. The leaders of the unpatriotic militia movement say we need to organize militarily to fight the FBI and ATF, inspiring followers to commit criminal offenses, which then force law enforcement to respond more strongly. For one example, the anti-terrorism bill, first introduced months before the bombing in Oklahoma City, may not have gone through were it not for that horrendous act. There is only one reason to advocate violence, and it is not to encourage the authorities to lighten up on the citizenry. It is to wreak havoc on society.

Now there is no place for the movement to go but to become more extreme. Already the exposure these groups have enjoyed have caused moderate members to drop out and has attracted more radical devotees. Then their predictions of total collapse do not come true, and with various groups competing for the most marketable scapegoat the movement's leaders will continue to pull their supporters toward the fringe. That is the direction they are taking, and they will continue in that course. Some number of them will wind up at the very edge. When they do, there will be plenty of hard-core racist revolutionaries willing to give them a hand for going their way.


Update on Stations

WRMI

Jeff White, a long-time shortwave enthusiast who has been involved with such good projects as Radio Earth, started WRMI in Miami last year. Until recently, he broadcast anti-Castro programming paid for by Cubans in exile in order to fund his own programs geared toward shortwave hobbyists.

Although White has reported that his station was profitable from the start, it seems it was not profitable enough for his liking. He could not resist expanding his broadcast hours in order to sell airtime to people promoting racism and reactionary violence. His schedule now contains Identity leaders Pete Peters and Bob Hallstrom and militia activist Mark Koernke. He has sporadically carried wild card Tom Valentine.

WGTG

A new private shortwave station came on line in the U.S. at the beginning of this year. WGTG broadcasts from Georgia with one 50 kilowatt transmitter.

In the spirit of democratic communications, the Far Right Radio Review loves to see the airwaves opening up to new voices. There is space available in the HF spectrum in this continent for more stations, especially if their power levels are kept low. With the station manager of WGTG reportedly building the transmitter himself, something for which it was previously almost impossible to get FCC approval, it sounded like we were finally seeing media outlets coming into the hands of people with just enough money for the bare parts.

But who got the license? This new station has shown itself to be nothing more than extra space for the same thing: the government plot to blow up its own building, the threat of secret societies, the need to 'cleanse' America...

WWCR

WWCR began the trend to use shortwave for domestic U.S. broadcasts in 1990, and continues to lead the pack. They recently added a fourth 100 kilowatt transmitter at their site in Nashville, Tennessee. With one transmitter leased 24 hours a day to Texas evangelist Gene Scott, the other three contain militant and racist programming -- one of them almost exclusively, one around half, and one carrying a sprinkling. At $100-150 for an hour of airtime, this station is milking the far-right for all it's worth. With a transmitting capacity already exceeding that of many countries, they may expand even further.

WHRI

For its first eight years of broadcasting, World Harvest Radio concentrated solely on evangelical programming. Then a change came two years ago. As their main talk radio host, Chuck Harder, become more entrenched in the militia movement, other 'Patriot' leaders came to them as well. These include Identity preacher Pete Peters, who has since been cut; Texe Marrs, using the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to explain that "ten notorious men reign over the Earth;" and Jack McLamb, on the air every day recruiting active duty law enforcement officers and military personnel to the militias. Now WHRI is proud to present Bob Enyart, who in his own words is "the nation's most popular self-proclaimed right-wing religious fanatic, homophobic, anti-choice talk show host." Does it bother these supposedly Christian broadcasters that the assailant in a recent attack on a gay man in Colorado was reportedly inspired by Bob Enyart's show?

Lester Sumrall, the founder of World Harvest Radio and Television, recently died in his mid-eighties. What course the next generation of management takes now that they are not supervised by a man who dedicated his life to preaching the Gospel and raising money to feed impoverished communities remains to be seen.

WRNO

Originally an FM station in New Orleans, WRNO broke the ice years ago by becoming the first U.S.-based private shortwave radio station. They had a difficult time making ends meet, and eventually turned to selling airtime to racist organizations. They have stayed fairly consistent with only a small number of far-right programs, yet they are some of the most blatantly racist programs to be found anywhere -- the National Alliance's American Dissident Voices and Kingdom Identity Ministry's Herald of Truth among them. Ernst Zundell's Holocaust-denying Voice of Freedom was pulled on content grounds and has not returned. WRNO owner Joseph Costello has said, however, that he's willing to carry almost anything. "You produce a program. You want to be heard. Pay me, and it's on," he told a NY Times correspondent.


Update on Hosts

Saxon

May '96 saw the return to the airwaves of one of the Far Right Radio Review's oldest subjects of scrutiny, Kurt Saxon. A survivalist, former activist with the Minutemen and the American Nazi Party, and promoter of eugenics, Saxon is back on the air three nights per week on WWCR.

It was largely due to Kurt Saxon's program the the FRRR originally went on the air. While RFPI had long been concerned about the rise in far-right programming on shortwave, it was upon hearing Saxon explain how to kill someone using dry ice and give detailed instructions on bomb construction that it was decided that a response had to come without delay. The FRRR went on the air the following week, and in edition #3 a full half hour was dedicated to reporting on Kurt Saxon.

He left the airwaves the following year, complaining of a conspiracy to cause poor reception of his program, and retreated to his hillside in Arkansas. Now he's back, once again trying to sell people back issues of his publications, which include the Survivor, U.S. Militia, and the Poor Man's James Bond.

Protecting Your Wealth

Viking International Trading has been showing its true colors lately. The producers of the Protecting Your Wealth program on WWCR and sponsors of Mark Koernke's Intelligence Report and now Radio Free America, Viking uses the airwaves to fill people with paranoia in order to sell them gold coins.

Robin Noel, one of Protecting Your Wealth's revolving hosts, has been amazingly inciteful of late. Hailing from Zimbabwe (which he still refers to as Rhodesia), Noel left that country when the 94% Bantu majority got the vote and took power. (It turned communist, says Noel.) He then went on to South Africa, where he fought for the preservation of Apartheid. ("Fortunately," said Noel, "the Government was kind enough to give us a dollar twenty-five a day to shoot those people [i.e. ANC members].") Then democracy was instituted there (Noel calling it, of course, communism), the black majority voted the ANC into office, and Noel left for the United States.

He seems to be no foreigner to far-right movements in the U.S. Recently, he has been keeping pace with a number of Christian Identity leaders and activists whom he has invited on the program, putting aside all talk about the economy to discuss Judaism. "There are Jews and there are Jews," he has said repeatedly. "If the Jews hate Germans so badly because of the Holocaust, why is it they all drive Mercedes and BMW's?" We learn that "about 90% of Clinton's cabinet is Jewish," and that Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower were all Jewish. In response to the beating of illegal Mexican immigrants in Riverside, California, we have this: "I said it before, [laughter] if it was me I would have shot them."

Valentine

After having fought with limited success to build a network of AM stations across the U.S. to spread its conspiratorial message of Holocaust denial, the Liberty Lobby was the first far-right organization to turn to shortwave nearly six years ago. They found it to be very worthwhile, and paved the way for others on the extremist fringe to make use of the medium for domestic broadcasts.

Their man was Tom Valentine, hosting a program called Radio Free America. For the next six years, he came our way 2-3 hours each night on WWCR. His program centered mainly around the same wild conspiracy theories concocted in the Liberty Lobby's weekly newspaper, The Spotlight. Nearly every ad on the program was for subscriptions to the tabloid. Valentine stuck to the subtle anti-Semitism of his sponsor and kept his distance from the 'Patriot' movement. At times, he openly criticized the militias.

Now Tom Valentine is apologizing for those remarks. In recent editions, we have heard people advocating violence being presented in a positive way. What changed? Radio Free America's sponsorship. With the Liberty Lobby pulling back its ad time, Valentine now runs commercials for Viking International Trading. The piper is now being paid by Vikings, and has thus changed his tune.

1999
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